So I\’ve done some life-changing, some re-prioritizing. I\’ve realized it wasn\’t good for me to be so religious as I was…and some of you who read my early blogs can probably agree with that.
It\’s not that I don\’t believe in God and the bible anymore, I still do. The difference is now I don\’t make or break on God coming through for me. I understand life is hard, and people who expect God to constantly be a knight in shining armor will end up disappointed. I believe God gave us a brain and expects us to use it, not for Him to constantly intervene in our lives. After all, most of us live in the USA, which is already a huge gift from God. We have so many opportunities here, and safeguards in the government programs, such as disability and foodstamps, to help us if we need help. Things aren\’t perfect, but they are pretty good.
I also don\’t hold myself to the insane standards I used to. I used to be miserable because I made a note of every little sin I committed. I realize now that even most religious people don\’t do it like I was, and even if I sin it in no way helps me to keep a detailed record of it. If you beat yourself up hard enough, you\’ll end up doing the exact things that you are scolding yourself for, because it is the only relief you have.
I\’ve also changed the content of my music. I thought every song had to be about God, namely calling on my listeners to repent and believe. It killed my imagination, because every song was already predetermined. I always wondered why I had such bad writer\’s block, and now I realize it was because of the heavy religious content of my songs. I was writing about things that my heart wasn\’t really set on. Now, I write about God, but I also write about all the things that are wrong with people in the church. I write about how I felt alienated from God due to my over-religious nature. And sometimes, I just write things that rhyme even if there is no message in the music. I\’m having the time of my life writing songs about whatever I feel like.
The best part of what I\’m doing now, is I am giving myself a chance to believe intellectually. I used to secretly hate my faith because, well, everything is just spoon-fed to you. I love being curious, using the brain God gave me to explore things and figure things out….but with Christianity, many times you are fed everything there is "to know." Your political beliefs are taught to you, the story of creation is simplified to a few bible verses and you feel led to ignore science, social issues like gay marriage are decided for you by the majority. And on top of that, you feel that if you don\’t just accept everything in the bible blindly you are evil and will be punished.
I still believe, but I\’ve finally figured out that skepticism and questioning are a natural part of being human. If you never had hesitation when reading some of the things that happened in the bible, you would either be foolish or super-human. Now I back away from dogmatic belief, and I give myself a chance to assess things intellectually and make sense of them for myself. After all, if God is just and right, he doesn\’t need me to just blindly, compulsively believe everything he said in the bible, in order for it to be correct. And I\’ve found that allowing myself to question things doesn\’t make me disbelieve…in fact it makes me love my beliefs even more, because I don\’t feel they are forced on me.
So that\’s my life in a nutshell right now. My antidepressants seem to be working, but I still have terrible anxiety, so I started a regimen of 1mg xanax, three times a day. Now I suddenly enjoy getting up every day and living life! It is such a relief to not feel depressed every day.
In the lovelife front, I met a girl from e-harmony, and after talking for months I finally told her about my HIV status. Her reaction was very positive, but I suspect most of the welcoming statements are just a kneejerk reaction, her trying to sound as non-judgmental as possible. The real test will come once we talk some more, and she feels no pressure to be accepting. I don\’t hold it against her if she decides to move on. I\’ve actually gotten pretty comfortable with being single; but I am very optimistic for the future, and especially with this girl.
I am currently unemployed, and UI insurance is just barely getting me by, but I am very happy just to be free of depression and be healthy; and writing music has greatly helped me enjoy every day.
Hope everyone is doing well; have a great holiday season!